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We had our first attack last night, I think a raccoon...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Noymira, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    979
    1
    121
    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    The title says it! We are lucky, we have one injured hen and another hen and a rooster missing some feathers. No fatalities!

    My husband had just gotten home from work a little after 11:00 and as he was unlocking the door he could hear some noise from the quarantine pen way in the back corner of our property. We have 5 hens I got from a local a couple months back and a new 18 week old cockerel from the same local last weekend, so they are still in the quarantine pen away from my pullets. I was still awake when he came in so we went out on the porch and listened. At first it sounded like the birds were rustling around in the pen, lots of thumping, rustling noises.

    Then the rooster started making noise and we heard a hen screaming, so we ran out with a shovel and flashlight (we do not yet own a gun). Whatever it was took off into the woods after hearing us come running, as I was yelling to chase it off. We could hear it in the brush heading up the bank behind the pen. A quick look in the pen showed all 6 chickens standing huddled one corner. There was a good handful of feathers on the floor in the pen and more on the ground outside, but no gaps or rips in the wire. Everyone was up and moving, so I left them alone until this morning.

    Our quarantine pen is not as secure as our coop, since it's meant to be temporary. It's a roof with wire walls and solid floor basically, an old seasonal turkey pen that I converted. I added a tarp around 2 sides to give some cover and protection, but they must have been scared to the side where a coon could fit it's hands between both layers of wire. I'll be adding some smaller wire tonight to keep this from happening again. We used some tin roofing to cover the wire on the side where the attack was, just for last night.

    My new cockerel was not thrilled about me checking out the ladies this morning, although he was not aggressive towards me, and was very protective of them. He's in full alert mode this morning and keeps checking on the injured hen and the one missing some feathers. I think he's earned his place in the flock already, since he raised the alarm last night and may have lost his tail feathers defending the ladies.

    My dad's coming over this evening to talk coon strategy with me, and we do have a trap to set out in addition to adding smaller wire to the coop. Now I'm off to the injuries forum to see what I can do for my injured hen. She's got a droopy wing and limp on the same side, and there's a wound above her wing. She was not bleeding, nor was there any blood anywhere. She's acting fine other than the limp and wing, and did not want to be caught this morning, so I'm hoping it's not too bad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  2. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    wow, that was a close call. good for your new rooster to save the night!!
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sounds like you may have a good rooster there. Good thing you showed up when you did, though.
     
  4. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    979
    1
    121
    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    We are lucky that my husband happened to be walking in the door at the right time, and we were able to get to the pen less than a minute after the attack started. Had we both been sound asleep I think I may have found 1 less chicken or more this morning.

    First big lesson for me on predators, and time to do my best to make sure this doesn't happen again. It could have been a much costlier lesson, and I'm very thankful it wasn't!
     

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